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News (Archive)

04.17.17

The Spring 2017 edition of Fuels Fix is here!

Inside the Spring 2017 edition of Fuels Fix:

  • Multi-state EV Project Launches in the Midwest (an eight-coalition partnership)
  • COVER STORY: Come Hell or High Water - One Fleet's AFV Determination
  • The "You have a Choice" Ethanol Blends Campaign Starts in Mid-Atlantic
  • Great Smoky Mountains Advance their Climate Friendly Parks Program with Propane
  • Plus much more...
03.30.17

What factors do employers need to consider when establishing a workplace charging program?

Answer:
While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for workplace charging, there are a number of resources available to help employers design, implement, and manage the right program for their organization.

Assess Demand
Employers considering whether workplace charging is right for their organization will want to start by assessing employee demand with an employee survey (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/sample-employee-survey-workplace-charging-planning). Once this assessment is complete, employers may set goals for meeting workplace charging demand, either by planning to meet the entire need (i.e., all drivers that have expressed or will express interest in PEV charging) or by dedicating a percentage of parking spaces to PEV charging. For example, Google has a goal to dedicate 5% of all parking spaces to workplace charging.

Procure and Install
Employers should determine what types of charging stations to purchase. There are a few decisions to make, including the following: 

  • Charging Level: There are benefits and drawbacks to both Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations in the workplace. Employers must evaluate which option is best for their facilities. For more information about the differences between charging levels and their merits for workplace charging, see the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Workplace Charging Station Basics page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-station-basics). 
  • Networking: Charging station networks provide maintenance, customer service, and energy monitoring capabilities, and collect payment on behalf of the station owner. However, networks require a fee, and employers will need to consider whether the convenience of charging networks outweighs the financial cost. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Level 2 page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/level-2-charging-workplace). 

Employers should also be sure to get quotes from a number of charging station providers. For more guidance, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Sample Request for Proposal document (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/request-proposal-guidance). Employers will work with their electrical contractor to determine charging station placement; station installation can be an expensive process, but employers can minimize costs by siting stations in locations that require minimal trenching, boring, and electrical panel upgrades. For more information about siting and installation, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Equipment and Installation Costs page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-equipment-and-installation-costs).

Manage
A well-managed, well-planned workplace charging program can ensure station access to all employees, promote strong communication between employers and station users, and encourage responsible station use. 

  • Registration and Liability: Many employers require employees to register their PEV, which allows the employer to identify the number of vehicles using their charging stations. For example, employers can give registered vehicles a mirror hangtag or window sticker that identifies the vehicle as having permission to use the charging stations. A registration form may also include language that requires vehicle owners to agree not to hold the employer responsible for any damage to the vehicle that occurs while it is parked at the charging station. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Registration and Liability page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-registration-liability). 
  • Station Sharing: It is important to emphasize that workplace charging is a privilege, not a right. Employees may be obligated to share stations with their colleagues and comply with established charging time limits. While an employer can set up systems for sharing stations, such as reserving the station (similar to how an employee would reserve a conference room) or establishing a set schedule for use, most employers allow users to resolve station-sharing conflicts themselves. However, it is important to establish consequences for violating station policies, such as using a station for less than four hours. By framing workplace charging as a privilege, an employer reserves the right to restrict access for employees that routinely violate company policy. For more information about how to establish workplace charging policies and encourage station sharing, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Station Sharing page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-sharing). 
  • Pricing: While most employers offer workplace charging for free, charging for station use can be a good way to manage demand. Employers may charge for electricity (e.g., per kilowatt hour) or for time (e.g., per hour), depending on preference and applicable regulations. Employers can motivate employees to move their vehicles and share the stations by charging a nominal fee (or no fee) for the first set number of hours (e.g., four hours) and then raise the fee for subsequent time that the vehicle is parked in the space. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Pricing page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-pricing). 

For more resources about workplace charging, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging website (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging), explore the Clean Cities’ Workplace Charging Toolkit (https://cleancities.energy.gov/technical-assistance/workplace-charging/), or contact the TRS at technicalresponse [at] icf [dot] com

 

03.28.17

The Spring 2017 Plug-in NC newsletter is here!  Plug-in NC has been working since 2011 to establish North Carolina as a leader in electrified transportation. Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition staff and stakeholders participate actively in this state-wide program that promotes electric vehicles through education and outreach, consulting and resource development, striving to provide a collaborative opportunity to work together to ensure a seamless integration of plug-in electric vehicles into our local communities. Click here to read more.

03.17.17

On March 15, 2017, Wilmington Trust was officially appointed by the court as the Trustee of the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust. 

• The unopposed motion from February 23, 2017

• The order of appointment from March 15, 2017

Once the court establishes the Trust Effective Date, states will have 60 days to submit their Certification for Beneficiary Status.

 

03.16.17

The Greater Charlotte Regional Freight Mobility Plan is here!

The plan is designed to identify methods of freight efficiency, which in effect will increase fuel efficiency. Over 77% of the region's freight tonnage is moved by truck. When we improve freight mobility and safety, it can reduce congestion and mitigate environmental impacts.
The project team will present the Freight Mobility Plan at the region’s transportation planning organization policy and program boards in the first quarter and then broader regional meetings with local government and economic development representatives in the spring. Please stay tuned for what’s next by checking the CCOG Freight webpage for details on upcoming meetings and events.

Click here to read the Freight Mobility Plan, located on the CCOG website.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, feel free to contact jhill [at] centralina [dot] org (Jessica Hill).

02.28.17

What are state and local governments doing to incentivize alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs)?

Answer:
There are many notable incentive activities at the state and local levels. Many states offer incentives for alternative fuels that advance specific environmental and energy security goals, while cities provide even more localized support.

States are targeting vehicles, infrastructure, and other means to encourage AFV adoption. Below are various types of incentives, as well as hyperlinked examples of each:

  • AFV Purchase Incentives: States offer grants, rebates, and tax credits for the purchase of AFVs. While some states may focus vehicle incentives on a particular fuel type, such as electric vehicles, others are more general in their support. States provide AFV purchase incentives to consumers, commercial fleets, and public fleets, such as schools and government agencies. Different incentive mechanisms tend to be more appropriate for different categories of vehicle purchasers; for example, grants are often limited to certain types of entities. Public fleets may not be liable for taxes, so they usually benefit more from grants than from tax credits. Private fleets can benefit from grants, rebates, and tax credits.
  • Fueling Infrastructure Purchase and Installation Incentives: Similar to AFV incentives, states provide grants, rebates, and tax credits for alternative fueling infrastructure. States usually create incentives for the physical fueling infrastructure, but many programs also support installation costs. Some states also offer a tax credit or tax reduction for the production or purchase of alternative fuel itself. Fueling infrastructure incentives may stipulate that the fueling or charging station must be available to the public, which helps to increase the availability of alternative fuels to a broader range of entities.
  • Other Incentives: In addition to financial support for the purchase of AFVs, states may give special benefits to AFV drivers. For example, some states allow high-occupancy vehicle lane access to AFVs, while others provide reduced registration fees, weight restriction exemptions, and emissions inspections exemptions.

Municipalities are also playing a role in supporting AFV deployment. Cities and counties incentivize AFVs in a number of ways, including by offering free or discounted parking, expediting permitting processes, and providing vehicle and infrastructure grants. For example, New Haven, CT, provides free parking on city streets for AFVs, while Los Angeles, CA, offers instant, online residential electric vehicle supply equipment permitting approval. The Alternative Fuels Data Center’s (AFDC) Local Laws and Incentives page provides more information on these and a greater array of other local options; while the page regarding local laws and incentives is not meant to be comprehensive, it provides users an idea of the different municipal programs and policies that exist (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/local_examples). If you are aware of an innovative way that municipalities are supporting alternative fuels and vehicle acquisition, please contact the Clean Cities Technical Response Service at technicalresponse [at] icf [dot] com to share the details. 

For more information about state and local alternative fuel incentives, see the AFDC Laws and Incentives page (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws). 

 

02.15.17

NC Clean Transportation Staff meet with Rep. David Price Energy Independence Summit 2017 Representatives from the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition joined clean transportation leaders from across the nation in Washington, DC to educate federal policy makers about the need to expand America’s use of alternative fuels, including biofuels, electricity, natural gas, and propane autogas. CCFC Chairman, Chris Facente, and Coordinator, Jason Wager, participated in Energy Independence Summit 2017, the nation’s premier clean transportation policy event, on February 12-15.

02.10.17

Centralina offices are now officially moved to David Taylor Drive, thus the delay in getting this update out to you! Thank you to all who attended the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition Core Stakeholders Group meeting at CMS Operations Offices on Friday, January 20th. Whether you attended or were not able to make it this time, here’s a recap of what was presented, topics referenced, and links to handouts. Mark your calendar now for our next Core Stakeholder meeting, scheduled for the morning of March 15th, 2017.

Our Stakeholders | Regional News

02.10.17

Blanchard Bus Centers delivers 26 new Blue Bird Vision Propane units to state of South Carolina  

COLUMBIA, S.C. (February 9, 2017) — The first of 26 propane-powered school buses were unveiled today at a ceremony in Summerville. In an effort to be more economically and environmentally responsible, the state of South Carolina has purchased these new Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses to replace aging diesel buses. The alternative-fueled buses will be deployed to service Dorchester and Berkeley counties tomorrow. Read the full article

01.13.17

With more than half a million plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) quietly zipping around U.S. streets, the Energy Department’s Workplace Charging Challenge has been instrumental in helping provide PEV drivers a place to charge their vehicles while at work. Read about our report summarizing workplace charging trends, highlighting top metro regions for the Challenge, and recognizing the efforts of Challenge partners.

Please read more about the challenge and the 2016 report at:
https://energy.gov/eere/articles/creating-sustainable-commute-electric-vehicles-and-workplace-charging

Centralina Council of Governments
9815 David Taylor Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262

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DOE Clean Cities
National Network